The first shift at the factory walk into the building. The men wait in line, still wearing hard hats, and punch their time cards into the clock. The men criss cross the floors as the last shift prepares to leave. Some of the men stand on a conveyor belt and land on recliners.
Senior members spray on makeup and give them new clothes to wear. They put on wigs and apply tattoos. The Goo Goo Dolls sit up in the recliners as the senior members inspect their work and they are given approval to leave. The senior members work on two other people, producing goths.
John leads the way down the hallway. He peeks into one of the circular window and sees a fortysomething man teaches the male goth how to play guitar.
John opens the main door to a club. Young women in bright tank tops grin once they see him. The band performs on top of the clock. Silver confetti falls from the ceiling. After singing for a minute, they get their lunch boxes out and sit on the edge of the seat. John rubs his pot belly and spreads peanut butter on his sandwich. Their boss tells them to get back on stage. They perform again. John grabs a drink from the server.
The older man teaches the female goth how to dance.
After the performance, the Goo Goo Dolls walk down the hallway again. They wave to several naked men heading for their makeovers. In another room, an older man teaches a couple of young people how to headbang.
They walk outside, becoming old again.
At the factory, the older men talk about their football victories and last-minute baskets. They exchange medication information, swapping side effects and recommending prescriptions they received from their doctors to others. They eat simple meals at their station, rubbing their knees and opening their shirts. The factory was the last resort. Some of had rejected retraining during unemployment. Others didn’t have a choice. During lunch, they talk about being left behind by society and discuss political memes they saw on social media.
A few of the older men used to be in a band together. They were known locally but didn’t ever make it big. John talks about meeting Nirvana’s manager and tearing up the contract. The band members continue to chew, thinking of what might’ve been. They weren’t going to sell out back then.
The factory allows the men to be young again and relive the one special memory before they ended up working the assembly line. The older men choose the night they met Nirvana’s manager. John shakes the man’s hand and signs the contract. The timer stops and they have to leave.
Outside, they are their current age. However, they hope the transformation would continue past the factory. They would be on top of the world again and relevant. They would be the “rock stars” needed in jobs ads, sail through the interview questions and get hired on the spot. They’d get their place in line back.
Director: N/A Year: 2000
Pam Avoledo’s love of pop culture began in 1999 with the message boards dedicated to shows on the CW (then WB). She graduated from Oakland University in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism.
When she is not debating whether Dawson should’ve ended up with Joey, she looks at cute dog memes on social media.